Tuesday, November 20, 2007

City Council Recap

Tonight's session was excruciatingly long and boring. The meeting started with a discussion about the possibilities of high speed rail in the state of Indiana and specifically in Fort Wayne. In summary, the numbers don't add up and it isn't going to happen anytime soon.

Next, there was a discussion about combining the city and county plan commissions into a joint operation that would be under the county umbrella. In this scenario the city employees would have to reapply for positions with the county inside the new joint department. There were some legal issues that needed to be ironed out in the agreement and the council agreed to postpone any action for two weeks. However, the reception from the council was positive and I expect it to pass unanimously. From there it has to be approved by other groups including the county commissioners and the county council.

Finally, there was a presentation by Aqua Indiana in an attempt to rebut the city's presentations given last week and this week. It really was a lackluster presentation that was all over the map and had two competing themes. The first is that the city shouldn't take them over at all because their service is improving, and the other is that the city should wait to take them over until the courts decide on a final valuation. They were pressed on several issues by various councilmembers and had no response. In the end they admitted that they had water quality problems and their product didn't match the city's quality.

The council voted unanimously to proceed except for councilman Pape who abstained because his law firm is currently involved with the city on this issue. I will also say that councilman Didier stood up for his constituents and took Aqua Indiana to task for their lousy water quality. If I get a chance, I'll put video of his comments up on the blog. Considering the meeting lasted about 3.5 hours, this is a very concise summary and if you managed to watch the whole thing from home then you should get some sort of mayoral citation...

4 comments:

Phil Marx said...

I almost hate to bring this up, but in the interest of fairness I do so.

If the count between Shoaff and Bender was off by over 96 votes, then shouldn't they also be checking the Brown/Crawford split which was only 107 votes?

J Q Taxpayer said...

Jeff,

Good recap and I will take my citation on a Mac Double Cheese wraper.

I thought Pape did about the most outstanding job I have ever seen him offer. I was impressed.

He did an outstanding job on the joint land use issue of raising the fact some Mayor could say the city wanted out and that would be it. He explained it well even though I am not sure all the council members followed his thought process. He was perfect.

The water issue he asked a couple killer questions that I again think slid by some of the council members. What I was most impressed was him abstaining on the vote. Hard to believe I am giving him a thumbs up for tonight.

Tom Didier went right to the heart of the matter and hung on like a dog does to meaty bone. The water quality sucked and he kept coming back to it. I hope he keeps this fire going.

The concern I do have is that the final sale price will be well above the 16 plus million dollars. I think the figure of 32 million will be closer then the 16. Which means the people in the area will end up paying what they currently are, or maybe more for a period of years.

That is no problem as I lived out Northeast years ago when the old private untility sold us garbage water that was loaded with rust and smelled like crap. The city bought the untility out and we ended up paying 23% higher rate then other people within the City. But we did not care.

We no longer had to replace water heater elements every year. Then the entire water heater in two or three years. Your white clothes stayed white after each washing.

Jeff Pruitt said...

Phil,
The change was NOT due to a recount. I'm assuming the numbers that were reported on election night were unofficial and after the election board had the official results Shoaff was the winner. I'm sure they counted everyone's ballots equally.

JQ,

I agree with everything you said here. I should've mentioned Pape's insistence on council approval being required to back out of the deal. I actually think there's only a minor chance of such a situation occurring but it's good for Pape to dot the i's and cross the t's nonetheless.

I too think the city will end up paying more than the current appraised value and that they will have to hit those old AI customers with a surcharge. However, everyone I've talked to in that area has the exact same sentiment you expressed here - namely they're willing to pay more as long as they get a decent product...

ROACH said...

I'd just be happy with old fashioned, rail service, from AMTRAK, arrving, and departing Baker St. Station, on a reasonable, scheduled, on-time service. So we can go around the region to all the hotel/Casinos, and maybe to Canada, to enjoy rights we dont have here, or so granny can get some affordable drugs, and free health care.
And a few more busses to and from Indy would be nice, as well.
What a hick backwater filled with incompetents, and nincompoops we have here.